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"Guardian of Lyssa" build. Unkillable self-healer w/ great DPS.

guardian rune of lyssa self-heal altruistic healing empowering might 2h mastery renewed focus tank

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#1 Venyarth

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Posted 02 November 2012 - 10:57 PM

First, I believe no build is truly "original". With millions of players, certainly every combo has been tried somewhere. I haven’t seen this build yet (although I may have missed it), but I won’t take credit for “creating” it, only for describing it :)

To that extent, my build is a variant on the excellent baseline build described in this post
http://www.guildwars...guardian-build/

You should read the link first. I was using this build before I read it, but full credit goes to Strife025 for sharing and explaining the "how's and why's" of the baseline of this build - a 0/10/30/30/0 Emp Might/Altruistic Healing Build, well detailed.  The essence of the build is that roughly 2 out of every 3 times you push any button (swinging weapon, using skill), you self-heal, sometimes for a lot.

My variant, which I call the "Guardian of Lyssa" build, uses the above baseline (swapping “Hold The Line” out for “Signet of Judgment”) with 6 Superior Runes of Lyssa to create controllable "burst defense".

*****************
SETUP

I run the 0/10/30/30/0 setup with 6x Superior Rune of Lyssa that give +165 precision, +10% condition duration, gain a random boon for 10s after using a healing skill, and finally, "when you use an elite skill, lose all conditions and gain all boons for 5s".  (EDIT: Math comparing 0/10/30/30/0 trats vs something with 5 in Virtues is in the 10th post)
http://gw2skills.net...FJKyWkrIZRDCOgA
(EDIT: If you can't get gw2skills.net to work, I listed every trait, utility, and what they do in general (and with the build) in post #29 below)

I couple this with the elite skill Renewed Focus, which you can now use on the run, to gain a mini "God-mode" every 90 seconds. It really adds to the "I self-heal and am tough to kill" synergy of this build, and is a guaranteed to work "Oh *&$%" emergency button that no other profession/build can match.

All Exotic gear (except the back) using Greatsword/Staff. With Lemongrass Poultry food and Hardened Sharpening Stones, stats are:
  • Attack: 2,967 (Power 1,867)
  • Crtical Chance: 50% (w/ Sigil of Accuracy 5%)
  • Critical Damage Bonus: 52%
  • Armor: 2,889 (Toughness 1,678)
  • Health: 17,345 (w/Greatwsord. 19,135 with Staff - dropping power by 128 and crit to 37%)
*EDIT: Exact gear loadout is shown in the 6th post in this thread*

************
UNKILLABLE + BATTLE TURNER ELITE
You get all the toughness, hard to kill, and self healing from the 0/10/30/30/0 build. You get nice AoE dps with 20% 2H skill CD reduction, Greatsword and excellent crit. You get damage reduction from armor and Signet. The big synergy benefit is the Elite Skill....

Renewed Focus with this setup is:
  • instant cast, (EDIT: invulnerability starts instantly. All other effects below occur after 3s invulnerability finishes. Note that you can move the entire time, so it is truly "fire and forget" in terms of cast time)
  • gives 3 seconds invulnerability while still being able to move (new from patch),
  • removes all conditions on you
  • grants every boon for 5s
  • resets all virtues cooldowns, (can cast instant heal and aegis right after)
  • gains additional Altruistic Healing (630+pts) from the multiple boons applied.
All this is useable every 90 seconds!

It is the most powerful single button Guardian action I have seen, and I cannot count how many times this has saved my life from the edge of certain death and turned a battle around in my favor, especially with all the boons now active.  (Tome of Courage is also good, but you need 5 uninterrupted seconds to cast the big heal, and you can only use it every 3 mins)

Combo it with "Save Yourselves!" immediately before (which also breaks stun), and you have now erased every ally's condition while gaining every boon yourself for 10-15 seconds....incredible utility that is completely unpreventable.

****************
OTHER BONUSES – FREE 4th UTILITY SLOT?
OK, maybe more like a 1/2 free slot. The Lyssa rune "gain random boon for 10s after a healing skill" is also a nice wildcard in any situation (especially PvP). It's like getting half of the Prayer to Lyssa utility for free, without taking up a slot, every time you hit the “6” key.

On second thought, you get an additional free utility from using the Combo of "Save Yourseves!" with the Renewed Focus elite skill and the Rune of Lyssa.  The removal of all conditions, and granting of all boons is somewhat equivalent to getting the meditation skill Contemplation of Purity (turn all conditions you have into boons, 60 sec CD).

So yes, you gain the equivalant functionality of at least 1.5 other utilities!

****************
THE SURVIVAL SEQUENCE

I use a Staff with a Vitality stat focus to temporarily get over 19,000 HP, and a Sigil of Hydromancy (freeze nearby enemies on swap for 3s). I shift to Staff when I just need to survive/heal without regard to doing dps. The "survival sequence":
  • Swap to Staff - Freeze nearby enemies
  • Use Virtue of Resolve/Courage (Heal plus Aegis on self and ally)
  • Use “Save Yourselves” (move all allies conditions onto you, gain all boons, heal from boons)
  • Use Renewed Focus (drop all conditions, gain all boons, heal from boons, invulnerable for 3s so that every skill is 3s closer to being ready again, reset virtue CD)
  • Use Virtue of Resolve/Courage (Heal plus Aegis on self and ally) again.
  • Dodge/evade x2 (with self heal) towards allies (heals them too).
  • Buff stacks of Empower (self heals of 4K+ through might buffs to allies, heals allies at end),
  • (optional) Symbol of Swiftness (to escape, also self heals for every ally it hits/buffs).
  • Use your #6 heal skill (it should be ready again after all this, plus get a random boon that heals).
  • (optional) ranged damage with Staff while waiting for weapon swap CD (1-2 s wait by now). Any crits (now at 52% chance with Fury) will self heal you.
  • Swap to Greatsword, Leap of Faith back into battle and burst damage some enemies while buffed (crits at 70% chance with Fury, each crit will self heal you some more).
That is 12 different instant heals (some of them potentially very large with allies around, like #7) - one heal for each step 2-11 in the sequence (2 heals on step 6 and 9), plus 2 regenerations, 5 heals on allies, removes all conditions from everyone. Meanwhile enemy is slowed, your movement speed is increased, with protection, shield, stability, retaliation.... Unkillable.

MORE INFO IN MY FOLLOW UP POSTS BELOW
  • Exact Gear Loadout : Post #6 in this thread
  • Why I didn't take 5 points out of another trait to put 5 in Virtues: Post #10
  • Clarifying what happens (and what is meant) by "instant cast" on Renewed Focus: Post #16
  • Very detailed post with math on using Signet of Judgment vs "Hold the Line!" with this build: Post #21
  • Comparison between using a Berzerker GS vs the Rampager GS (Berserker looks as good if not slightly better in solo/small party situations. Hat tip to Zhaitan for the suggestion): Post #23
  • Exact Trait and Utility loadout (for those who can't get GW2skills link above working): Post #23
  • Comparison between  Plate of Lemongrass Poultry vs. Mango Pie food sources (Mango Pie is fabulous with this build - I'm switching to it in many situations. Hat tip to Zorian51 for the suggestion): Post #31
  • Armor tradeoff considerations and effects if you want to tweak or increase/decrease Vitality, Precision, Power, Toughness compared to the baseline I listed here:  Post #60
  • *Still to come: GS vs Hammer comparison....

Edited by Venyarth, 16 December 2012 - 05:45 PM.


#2 antoninusthepious

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Posted 02 November 2012 - 11:50 PM

Ah that is some nice rune / skill combination.

Quote

  • Swap to Staff - Freeze nearby enemies,
  • Use Virtue of Resolve/Courage (Heal plus Aegis on self and ally)
  • Use “Save Yourselves” (more ally conditions onto you, gain all boons, heal from boons)
  • Use Renewed Focus (drop all conditions, gain all boons, heal from boons, invulnerable for 3s so that every skill is 3s closer to being ready again, reset virtue CD)
  • Use Virtue of Resolve/Courage (Heal plus Aegis on self and ally) again.
  • Dodge/evade x2 (with self heal) towards allies (heals them too).
  • Buff stacks of Empower (self heals 2K+ through might buffs, heals allies at end),
  • (optional) Symbol of Swiftness (to escape, also self heals for every ally it hits/buffs).
  • Use your #6 heal skill (it should be ready again after all this, plus get a random boon that heals).
  • (optional) ranged damage with Staff while waiting for weapon swap CD (1-2 s wait by now)[/quote]

is pretty much what every AH Guardian rotation should look like when it comes to surviving during the heat of a battle.  AH gives you near 0 downtime and burst heals is going to be pretty big with Staff Empower

I use a similar build (Altruistic Healing) but went into 10/30/30 for a glass cannon build and gear (using Berserker's and Valkyrie trinkets).  AH is good with a guardian as long as you know the right rotation to survive and that rotation would be this one above.

And nice rune set up too.  We need more ideas outside the box like this :)

Edited by antoninusthepious, 05 November 2012 - 06:23 PM.


#3 jpg1

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Posted 03 November 2012 - 12:26 AM

Pretty detailed stuff - and the combo is quite a refresh from the usual Rune set-up for the Guardian.

#4 Bonja

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Posted 03 November 2012 - 03:31 AM

im running full knights gear, with valk jewels (3) and 2 zerker gives me sameish health buffs but my crit is around 40% with gsword how do u have so much prec, i will get power crit prec sword but im using knights atm, rly confused as to how the crit got so high
is it due to runes or have u changed up the armour a bit?

#5 Venyarth

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Posted 03 November 2012 - 06:33 AM

View PostBonja, on 03 November 2012 - 03:31 AM, said:

im running full knights gear, with valk jewels (3) and 2 zerker gives me sameish health buffs but my crit is around 40% with gsword how do u have so much prec, i will get power crit prec sword but im using knights atm, rly confused as to how the crit got so high
is it due to runes or have u changed up the armour a bit?

I'll post my specific gear next time I get in game to check.  You are pretty close.  It's majority Knights armor plus one of the Cathedral pieces.

The trick is, about 1K of the health is from the food and sharpening stone buff (they both synergize well and buff Vitality based on Toughness, which you have with Knight's armor) as well as giving about 100 attack/power.  So stat up Precision instead of Vitality, get to 45% crit and 16K health w/o food buffs, then put Superior Sigil of Accuracy for another 5% crit on your Greatsword.  That should get you the stats I listed.

#6 Venyarth

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Posted 03 November 2012 - 05:05 PM

Exact gear (Primary Stat, Secondary Stat, Tertiary Stat)

Armor: with 6x Superior Rune of Lyssa : (+165 Precision, 10% Condition Duration, gain random boon for 10s after using healing skill, when you use an elite skill lose all conditions and gain all boons for 5s)
  • Helm: Knight's (Toughness, Power, Precision)
  • Shoulders: Knight's
  • Chest: Heavy Aurora (Power, Toughness, Vitality) - from Cathedral of Verdance karma vendor
  • Hands: Knight's
  • Legs: Knight's
  • Feet: Knight's
Accessories
  • Back: Berserker's Spineguard w/ Exquisite Ruby Jewel (Power, Precision, Crit Damage) - Arah Storyline completion reward. Can use/buy Guild backpack that similar stats (actually +1 greater).
  • Earring 1: Emerald Orich Earring of the Knight (Toughness, Precision, Power)
  • Earring 2: Beryl Orich Earring of the Valkyrie (Power, Vitality, Crit Damage)
  • Necklace: Emerald Orich Amulet of the Knight (Tougness, Precision, Power)
  • Ring 1: Beryl Orich Ring of the Valkyrie (Power, Vitality, Crit Damage)
  • Ring 2: Beryl Orich Ring of the Valkyrie (Power, Vitality, Crit Damage)
Weapons
  • Greatsword: Ghastly Greatsword of Accuracy (Precision, Power, Cond Damage). Same as crafted Rampager. w/ Superior Sigil of Accuracy (5%)
  • Staff: Silence (Vitality, Healing Power, Condition Damage). w/ Superior Sigil of Hydromancy (Freeze nearby foes when you swap to weapon in combat)
With Greatsword, should have Health 16,335, Attack 2,839, Crit chance 50% (will show 45% on screen due to bug with Sigil of Accuracy not showing - I confirmed this visually with a clone Greatsword that had a different Sigil)
  • Food**: Plate of Lemongrass Poultry: Gain Vitality equal to 6% of your Tougness. (6% x 1,678 = 101 Vitality or 1,010 Health). Gain 200 power when below 5% health
  • ***EDIT on food: Based on suggestion, have switched to Mango Pie. Gives 700 health, Heal 88 health per second.
  • Enhancer Consumable: Hardened Sharpening Stone: Gain Power = to 5% of your Tougness. Gain Power = 3% of your Vitality. (Gain 128 Power)
Final Health = 17,345 after Lemongrass Poultry - which stays up after death. **EDIT = 17,045 with Mango Pie
Final Attack = 2,967 after Sharpening Stone - which doesn't stay up after death, but you aren't going to die often with this build :)

Edited by Venyarth, 07 November 2012 - 05:57 PM.


#7 Milennin

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Posted 03 November 2012 - 05:34 PM

Nice, have been wondering what runes to use for my final Guardian setup, and I might consider 6/6 Lyssa now.

#8 indure

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Posted 03 November 2012 - 05:48 PM

It's a good build, but any build with 0/10/30/30/0 is going to be incredibility hard to kill. If what makes your build so unique is the runes of Lyssa coupling with Renewed Focus, why not put any points into Virtues? Even the standard 5 would greatly improve a build centered around Renewed Focus.

#9 ZCKS

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Posted 03 November 2012 - 07:07 PM

Given how hard the build is to kill I honestly would probably swap out the rune of lyssa for rune of the eagle, rune of divinity or ruby orb's.


Its quite similar to a build I use however.

http://gw2skills.net...LZWLCGEcIYTxjAA is the build I settled on a while back.
The main difference between them is that with my build I drop 10 points from honor then put 5 into virtues & the other 5 into radiance. I do this because reseting VOJ is insanely good & inspired virtues is probably among the best traits we have.
After that I slot 6x rune of the soldier so my shouts remove a condition & as a + it adds +165 vitality & + 50 toughness.

#10 Venyarth

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Posted 03 November 2012 - 08:09 PM

View Postindure, on 03 November 2012 - 05:48 PM, said:

It's a good build, but any build with 0/10/30/30/0 is going to be incredibility hard to kill. If what makes your build so unique is the runes of Lyssa coupling with Renewed Focus, why not put any points into Virtues? Even the standard 5 would greatly improve a build centered around Renewed Focus.

Great question/comment.  I agonized over that.  A lot.  Still do. :)  And exactly for the reasons you describe.  5 Virtues is good, actually great (best 5 point spot in any of the trait lines). And in true tinkering spirit I still always wonder if I can grab that easy 5 in Virtues - the challenge becomes "what do I give up?"

You need 30 in Valor to get Altruistic Healing, so that can't be changed.

*************
PULL 5 FROM HONOR?

You only need 20 in Honor to get Empowering Might, but not going 30 in Honor - you give up 20% 2H CD reduction - which is huge both for dps, and self heal from skills (like the symbols, Staff Empower), or the utility given up on having less available Leap or Binding Blade dot/pull/interrupt. (you also lose 500 health from trait stats).  

Here is my math over a 90 second period:

*Two Handed Mastery gives you, during a typical 90 second period using Greatsword, an ADDITIONAL:
2x Symbol of Wrath (burns foes, grants retaliation to allies, self heals for any boons granted)
2x Whirling Wrath (AoE damage, grants self heals 50% of the time when it crits any foe, and adds might to allies)
1x Leap of Faith (blinds nearby foes)
1x Binding Blade (DOT on foes, on demand interrupt/knockdown)
500 health in your hp pool throught the entire fight

*Virtues Adept Minor trait, over a typical 90 seconds (using Renewed Focus reset), gives you an ADDITIONAL:
4x Might to allies (compared to 2x Whirling Wrath which adds might to allies, plus AoE damage to foes)
2x Regeneration to allies (vs 1x Binding Blade interrupt/knockdown, 2x Symbol of Wrath retaliation to allies)
2x Protection to allies (vs 1x Leap of Faith - Blind prevents 100% damage to allies once, protection prevents 33% over 5 secs)

In my mind 2H Mastery is superior to 5 points in Virtues Minor, mainly because I want to do damage. It grants at least 4 more boons to allies compared to 8 more for Virtues minor trait (all boons self heal). But it also does additional AOE direct damage, AoE blind (preventing damage is often better than healing it), AoE interrupt (again, preventing damage), AOE burns and DOTs. And dont forget the 500 hp in your health bar (with all that armor to back it up!).

***********
PULL 5 FROM RADIANCE?

That leaves us with 10 Radiance to pull 5 trait points out of (lose Signet Mastery) to put into Virtues.  The comparison becomes:

*Virtues Adept Minor trait, over a typical 90 seconds (with Renewed Focus), gives you an ADDITIONAL:
4x Might to allies
2x Regeneration to allies
2x Protection to allies
8 buffs on 5 allies x 72 = 2,880 hp self healed

*Signet Mastery, over a typical 90 seconds, gives you an ADDITIONAL:
1x Heal from Signet of Resolve (8,150 HP)
1x Random boon on self from Signet of Resolve (from Rune of Lyssa), plus self-heal from boon (72 hp)
1x Retaliation to allies from Signet of Judgment
1x Weakness to surrounding foes from Signet of Judgment
1 buff on 5 allies x 72, plus 8,150 big heal, plus one self heal from random boon = 8,582 hp self-healed

This is a little closer tradeoff,  More self-heals from Signet of Mastery (8,600 vs 2,900 mostly from the single extra use of Signet of Resolve, but that's a big BURST heal, and sometimes you need those). Ally boon wise: Virtues comes out way ahead.

So it depends if you want to add support vs. staying alive (controlled burst self-heal) in the worst situations.  I went with staying alive (for now), because I'm not always with allies, and the Signet Mastery still helps allies too, but nowhere near as much.

But yes, the lure of 5 Virtues is always there for me.  I may switch to it.  I call this situation "good game design by ANet" to force us to make choices like these, so that one build cannot "have it all".

Thanks for reading and commenting!

#11 indure

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 06:28 AM

View PostVenyarth, on 03 November 2012 - 08:09 PM, said:

/snip for space

Thanks for reading and commenting!

May I make a suggestion to try out. I've play extensively with the greatsword and the hammer and IMO the hammer works so much better with an AH build. The amount of healing from SoP and Mighty Blow combo finisher completely outweighs the slightly higher burst potential of the GS. You can gain ~730 healing per hammer rotation (solo) and that number is far greater with more people in melee range. Don't take my word for it, Brutality has done a ton of research on this thread

I would suggest trying out the hammer. I think you'll find you have even more survivability then the GS and similar DPS. Also if you wanted to gain 5 in Virtues I would consider removing Empowering Might, instead of Two-handed Mastery. I think you will find that the hammer will make you durable enough and EM although good, is not a deal breaker when you have permanent protection and already large incoming healing.

#12 Locodawg

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 06:29 PM

I have 2 quick questions about the build, you stated above that:

Renewed Focus with this setup is:
  • instant cast
What exactly is nullifying the 2second cast?

My other question is you mentioned:

uses the above baseline (swapping “Stand Your Ground” out for “Signet of Judgment”)

In your edited build @ http://gw2skills.net...FJKyWkrIZRDCOgA it seems you've kept Stand Your Ground and replaced Hold the Line. I assume your 6 is SoR, 7 is SoJ, 8 Hold the Line/Stand Your Ground, 9 Save Yourselves, 0 Renewed Focus.

Much appreciated, great build.

Edit: Sorry quick edit to my 2 previous questions. Wondering what Main Hand/Offhand combination you would use if a fight called for "Ranged" damage. Thanks again.

Edited by Locodawg, 04 November 2012 - 06:57 PM.


#13 Gamidragon

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 07:09 PM

Wow, I'm really intrigued by this build.  I will definitely be giving it a shot!  Great outline, I had no idea about the rune of Lyssa, and I've always wondered about how to make Renewed Focus more worth the slot over Tome of Wrath/Courage.

I can't figure out how you are getting an instant cast Renewed Focus?  Or do you mean you hit the button and it's effect starts immediately, as opposed to Tome's having a 2 second cast time?

#14 Slivers

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 07:21 PM

Does Virtue's Boon Duration Increase affect the length of Renewed Focus' Invulnerbility?

and

What % duration increase does Elite Focus give Renewed Focus?

Thanks

Edited by Slivers, 04 November 2012 - 10:41 PM.


#15 VicMorrow

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Posted 05 November 2012 - 02:21 AM

Elite focus add 2sec. 5sec total invul.

i might need to consider lyssa. quite few times i died due to condition dmg right after i saw my virtue refreshed.

i also want to know how renewed focus is instant.

#16 Venyarth

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Posted 05 November 2012 - 02:27 AM

View PostLocodawg, on 04 November 2012 - 06:29 PM, said:

I have 2 quick questions about the build, you stated above that:

Renewed Focus with this setup is:
  • instant cast
What exactly is nullifying the 2second cast?

My other question is you mentioned:

uses the above baseline (swapping “Stand Your Ground” out for “Signet of Judgment”)

In your edited build @ http://gw2skills.net...FJKyWkrIZRDCOgA it seems you've kept Stand Your Ground and replaced Hold the Line. I assume your 6 is SoR, 7 is SoJ, 8 Hold the Line/Stand Your Ground, 9 Save Yourselves, 0 Renewed Focus.

Much appreciated, great build.

Edit: Sorry quick edit to my 2 previous questions. Wondering what Main Hand/Offhand combination you would use if a fight called for "Ranged" damage. Thanks again.

Thanks for the questions!

First question: I probably should have phrased it better, but by "instant cast" I meant that the Renewed Focus effect of invulnerability happens immediately after you press the button (and lasts for 3 secs).  Since you are invulnerable, you will not die.  

I'm pretty sure existing conditions will not damage you while invulnerable - I've sat at a steady 100 health for 3 secs with a ton of conditions on me - but I can't say this with 100% certainty, as I haven't been able to reliably create an isolated scenario for a scientific test yet (e.g. have to make sure that some other healing effect isn't masking any possible condition damage).  What I've seen has been in the heat of battle - so my observations were rushed :)  Anyone that knows for certain, please comment!

Also note that you can move the entire 3 secs!  The movement capability was a buff from a recent patch and makes Renewed Focus quite powerful.

The condition removal and granting of all boons occurs at the end of the 3 seconds.  Use your 3 secs of invulnerability to position yourself wherever is most beneficial for you and your team when the boons pop up.

If you have 5 seconds left before your "6" heal skill is off cooldown, Renewed Focus will bridge that gap.  Just hit Virtue of Resolve and Courage after the invulnerability, and dodge/evade.

********
Second question: Typo on my part. You are correct. I keep Stand Your Ground, took out Hold the Line.
********

Third question:  Ranged damage is a weak point of this build (Guardian is weak in ranged regardless).  When I have to, I use Staff:  Staff "1" skill is medium range, but conical. It does the trick in many situations.  Staff "2" skill moves really slow (useless in PvP) and does so-so damage.  This build is designed to be hard to kill, and thus unless it is physically impossible to get in melee range, I will be using a Greatsword and just hacking away (with dodge, etc.) in melee range.  The more enemies you swing at over any period of time, the more you self-heal.

I run with another Guardian that uses Scepter/Focus - and she does nice ranged damage as a kite tank/support Guardian.  If I had time out of combat to swap out for a definite "ranged" fight MH/OH, that is what I would go with (might use a Shield in offhand in certain situations in WvW).

Edited by Venyarth, 05 November 2012 - 02:34 AM.


#17 Zorian51

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Posted 05 November 2012 - 04:42 PM

Do you think Signet of Judgement is really worth it over hold the line? 10% damage may seem like a ton but off a 2000 damage hit it only saves you about 200 damage. With hold the line you'll reduce alot more and regen a ton more from the buffs it gives out yes?

Also, do you feel GS is better then Hammer? With hammer you get protection on the 3rd hit and the ability to do blast finishers with mighty blow.

Edited by Zorian51, 05 November 2012 - 04:44 PM.


#18 antoninusthepious

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Posted 05 November 2012 - 06:29 PM

View PostZorian51, on 05 November 2012 - 04:42 PM, said:

Do you think Signet of Judgement is really worth it over hold the line? 10% damage may seem like a ton but off a 2000 damage hit it only saves you about 200 damage. With hold the line you'll reduce alot more and regen a ton more from the buffs it gives out yes?

Also, do you feel GS is better then Hammer? With hammer you get protection on the 3rd hit and the ability to do blast finishers with mighty blow.

That's the beauty of 30 valor and 30 honor imo - you can use any weapon combination you want and still be effective.  Use both, in fact use and carry all weapons and swap em out to what you think will work best in the situation you are getting yourself into.  (I dont know if yo play wvw or spvp or tpvp though. but since i play in wvw i'm basing my reply off of that).  

Just an example:
GS if you want to have a bit more moblity and perhaps when you might need to use 5 to catch a fleeing foe.
Hammer if you want to take advantage of the combo fields your team is going to lay down.  Or maybe if you are confident enough to use Banish to its most trollest potential :)

Edited by antoninusthepious, 05 November 2012 - 06:45 PM.


#19 Zorian51

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Posted 05 November 2012 - 06:39 PM

View Postantoninusthepious, on 05 November 2012 - 06:29 PM, said:

That's one beauty of 30 valor and 30 honor imo - you can use any weapon combination you want and still be effective.  Use both, in fact use and carry all weapons and swap em out to what you think will work best in the situation you are getting yourself into.  (I dont know if yo play wvw or spvp or tpvp though. but since i play in wvw i'm basing my reply off of that).  

Just an example:
GS if you want to have a bit more moblity and perhaps when you might need to use 5 to catch a fleeing foe.
Hammer if you want to take advantage of the combo fields your team is going to lay down.  Or maybe if you are confident enough to use Banish to its most trollest potential :)

Thanks I'm thinking I might do that. Hammer is looking more enticing to me right now because of the blash finishers being so awesome but you're right easy enough to switch out.

Same with the signet.. I just feel the 10% less damage is so little when you could be getting so much from hold the line.

#20 antoninusthepious

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Posted 05 November 2012 - 06:49 PM

View PostZorian51, on 05 November 2012 - 06:39 PM, said:

Thanks I'm thinking I might do that. Hammer is looking more enticing to me right now because of the blash finishers being so awesome but you're right easy enough to switch out.

Same with the signet.. I just feel the 10% less damage is so little when you could be getting so much from hold the line.

Try it out and see what works best for ya!  Play around with the tanky gear that is suggested in this thread and once you are comfortable enough with Altruistic Healing and can gauge if you can win a battle, try a Berserker set up with his runes.  This trait setup is fun and imo offers a lot more room for (well let's not say error) but riskier and more offensive strategies (since you have a lot of ways to heal yourself).

#21 Venyarth

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Posted 05 November 2012 - 09:01 PM

View PostZorian51, on 05 November 2012 - 04:42 PM, said:

Do you think Signet of Judgement is really worth it over hold the line? 10% damage may seem like a ton but off a 2000 damage hit it only saves you about 200 damage. With hold the line you'll reduce alot more and regen a ton more from the buffs it gives out yes?


Signet of Judgment in either active or passive mode, reduces more damage on average vs. “Hold the Line!”  But “Hold the Line” has more “burst” reduction if you time it right (see math and detailed explanations below), and has ally regeneration benefits too.  On the other hand, Signet of Judgment has an often overlooked active skill on fast CD that is quite powerful, and imo, often underappreciated.

Really though, both "Hold the Line!" and Signet of Judgment are excellent. With this build, both utilities have 20% CD reduction regardless of which one you carry at the moment.

One great thing about GW2 is, you can swap the utility any time out of combat with just two mouse clicks - so you can optimize for whatever situation you think you will encounter.

Thus I swap between the two, although I currently keep Signet in by default, but I never feel “gimped” if I have the “other” one in at any given time.

I will not and cannot say "one is always better than the other", because as with most skills, the situation you find yourself in, and your preferred play style, will define which one has an edge for you.

My comparison between Signet of Judgment and "Hold the Line!" for this build (because gear/runes, etc. will alter this analysis)

**********************

Signet of Judgment: Why 10% Armor reduction matters
Signet of Judgment Passive gives -10% incoming damage reduction. Assuming that this happens before the Armor value damage reduction is calculated (based off the tooltip word “incoming”), this is equal to 321 more Toughness, going by this excellent post's equations: http://www.guildwars...s-and-vitality/
As to whether 10% is significant or not (because that's always a good question), here are a few thoughts:
  • Damage reduction always helps against the "one shot killer". 10% off a 20,000 blow is "only" 2,000 more off, but that 2,000 may be the difference between whether you survive (and self-heal) vs. hitting the downed state.  Especially against some of the end bosses in dungeons.
  • Each % increase of damage reduction is more powerful than the one before. As an extreme example, going from 0% to 10% reduction doesn't sound that great. But going from 80% to 90% damage reduction means you live twice as long, as you take half the damage. (1,000 dmg hit at 80% gives you 200 dmg, but only 100 dmg at 90%. That's half). You aren’t starting at 80% damage reduction in GW2 of course, but you aren’t starting at 0% either.  The point is, don’t look at the 10% in isolation.
  • It's hard to pinpoint your current % reduction of damage in GW2 due to a very complex game mechanic (from link above), but from the bullet point above, stacking reducers has a multiplying effect. This build has other reducers like Protection (from "Save Yourselves!" or the Renewed Focus with Lyssa rune bonus, or even the random boon from the #6 heal with Lyssa rune), and of course your heavy armor/Toughness focus.
  • Since this is a self-heal build, taking less damage is essentially multiplying your healing power from all the other self-heals.  Of course, if you are adding even more healing ability as tradeoff to taking more damage, it becomes a more complicated question with many variables, of which gains more (I don’t have the answer to that)
***********************************
UTILITY COMPARISON (MATH)
Signet of Judgment basics:
  • 10% damage reduction on self all the time (unless activated)
   -OR-
  • Active (16s CD): Weakness  5s on enemies - reduces 50% damage half the time (on non-critical hits). Thus, <25% damage reduction (50% of 50% chance minus critical hits).  5s/16s = 31% uptime.  31% x <25% = less than 8% average damage reduction on all allies that the affected enemy hits. This could be 1, 10, 100, theoretically unlimited allies helped.
  • Active (16s CD): Retaliation 3s on allies. 3s/16s = 19% uptime
  • Self-Heal over 90s due to boons:  ~5.6 boons x 5 allies x 72 = 2,025
“Hold the Line!” basics:
  • Active (28s CD): Protection 4s (Reduce 33% damage) on allies. 4s/28s = 14% uptime. 14% x 33% = 4.7% average damage reduction on up to 5 allies (including yourself) in range
  • Active (28s CD): Regeneration 6s (~780 health) on all allies
  • Self-Heal over 90s: ~3.2 casts x 2 boons/cast x 5 allies x 72 = 2,314. + 3.2 casts x regenerate 780 = additional 2,496. Total = 4,810
Comparison (Signet of Judgment vs. Hold the Line)
  • Damage Reduction: 10% full time on self, vs. average 4.7% damage reduction (burst-y) on self plus allies
  • Self heals: 0 vs. 4,810 over 90s period, assumes 5 allies in range
  • Heals on allies: 0 vs. 2,496 (regeneration, not instant) on each ally over 90s period
-OR (If spamming Signet active ability)-
  • Damage Reduction: up to 8% average (burst-y) on self plus allies vs 4.7% (burst-y) on self plus allies
  • Self heals: 2,035 vs. 4,810 over 90s period, assumes 5 allies in range
  • Heals on allies: 0 vs. 2,496 (regeneration, not instant) on each ally over 90s period
  • Retaliation uptime: 19% for self and allies vs. 0%
********************
WHEN TO USE EACH
You might prefer Signet of Judgment over “Hold the Line!” when
  • You are solo
  • You play style is fighting in melee range and you want to emphasize more of a “tank” role with the build (it still does good support).
  • You want guaranteed, additional damage reduction, all the time. You don’t want to rely on actively hitting “Hold the Line” for protection, or having it on CD when you really need to take less damage.  You believe dodge/evade offers enough burst defense.
  • You are grouped and in melee range of the most dangerous mobs, and your allies are often out of shout range
  • You like having more options. You can keep the signet as a passive, or use it active to buff nearby allies with retaliation, or use it to help even far away allies with weaken enemies. With a short 16s CD, you can swap between active and passive fairly frequently.
  • You are in a situation with 10+ allies and want the option to support all of them. If the weakened enemy hits 100 of your allies, you have effectively helped reduce damage on all of them.
  • You are swarmed by lots of little mobs and want to do some reflect damage back to them
  • In PvE
You might prefer “Hold the Line!” when
  • You are grouped, with up to 5 allies in shout range much of the time
  • You want to maximize active, controlled self-heal.
  • You want guaranteed, on demand, higher damage reduction for up to 5 allies, for limited bursts, if they are in shout range
  • You want to add more of a “support” role to the build, healing and protecting others (it still does great at tanking)
  • You like/are good at timing active defenses to counter expected big hits. It is a good backup to using dodge/evade.
  • In WvW (Signet weakness is not so useful against players who stack high precision/crit chance)
******************
Again, you are still in very good shape if you choose the “other” utility in the above situations. The decision is really about tweaking/fine-tuning for the situation.

Edited by Venyarth, 05 November 2012 - 09:53 PM.


#22 Zhaitan

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Posted 06 November 2012 - 03:40 PM

Thanks a lot Venyarth. Great OP. People like you make this game so interesting. Thank you again for that.

I have a questions about your greatsword choice as I am planning to grab one from CoE later tonight. Why did you go with Prec/Power/Cond Dmg instead of Power/Prec/Critical Dmg?

The difference between Prec major vs. minor is 51. That's 2.4% less critical chance. But, having +9% critical dmg w/ higher power (51) won't that eventually play a bigger role with a berserker setup instead of rampager's? Or, are you trying to meet 50% critical chance mark by adjusting the overall attributes?

I am not trying to critique your build, but, merely trying to edify myself.

Thanks again for your contribution.

Edited by Zhaitan, 06 November 2012 - 03:44 PM.


#23 Venyarth

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Posted 06 November 2012 - 06:06 PM

View PostZhaitan, on 06 November 2012 - 03:40 PM, said:

Thanks a lot Venyarth. Great OP. People like you make this game so interesting. Thank you again for that.

I have a questions about your greatsword choice as I am planning to grab one from CoE later tonight. Why did you go with Prec/Power/Cond Dmg instead of Power/Prec/Critical Dmg?

The difference between Prec major vs. minor is 51. That's 2.4% less critical chance. But, having +9% critical dmg w/ higher power (51) won't that eventually play a bigger role with a berserker setup instead of rampager's? Or, are you trying to meet 50% critical chance mark by adjusting the overall attributes?

I am not trying to critique your build, but, merely trying to edify myself.

Thanks again for your contribution.

Thank you for reading the post and for the compliments.  I was just trying to hit the 50% crit chance because it was a nice round number, and I wanted constant self heals. But your post got me to thinking, so I sat down and crunched the math given the % crit chance, % crit damage, and power deltas.

I won't post the math here, but you are absolutely correct that the Berserker greatsword would hit harder vs the Rampager.

I calculated on average 4% more damage over time, and even though it crits slightly less, the crits would hit for 7.2% more when it did crit (great for PvP burst damage).  This is significant enough that I'm seriously thinking of changing to Berserker greatsword as default - or at least having a second one on hand if soloing. Full credit, and my thanks to you, for the suggestion on improvements :)

The tradeoff is 2.4% less chance of stacking AoE might on allies via crit (with the corresponding self heal of 72 x allies buffed**) plus the same crit placing 1x vigor on yourself (and another 72 self-heal), and in minor cases, a 2.4% less chance of avoiding weakness effects if it is on you.  I treated the condition damage delta as being a rounding error - may have to do some math there later to confirm.

**EDIT The Empowering Might stacks 3x might per application, so having 2.4% more crit chance is actually slightly better than I first thought with Rampage, and the self heal is much better with Rampager than I first thought.

I roughly estimate that having 2 other (*EDIT* maybe as low as one other ally, due to 3x might stacks instead of 1x per Empower Might application) allies with you would be enough to keep Rampager GS, as the group dps of the increased might stack % would offset the individual damage gain on Berserker (and you would self-heal more). So - another situational tradeoff to think about (good game design imo).

There is a point of diminishing returns on stacking crit % relative to the Altruistic Healing/Empowering Might self-heal combo, and going from 50% to 47.6% isn't that huge a drop (in my mind 30% to 27.6% is a larger drop). The key is to keep the small heals coming as constantly as possible.

In many dungeon fights I'll have a 80-100% full hp bar the entire fight (occassionally using the 6 heal), in melee range, while my party members are barely hanging on to life.  This could be interpreted as my having too many heals, so I can spare some for dps.  On the other hand, I like being virtually unkillable, as dead guardians do no damage. But on the third hand, sometimes the best defense is a good offense :)

********
P.S. Per other suggestions on this thread - I haven't had a chance to play with hammer as much as I'd like at 80. I'll post when I get enough combat time on it to collect my thoughts on it. Hammer is a great weapon for Guardians that brings a different set of capabilities and fun vs. the Greatsword.  I have some solid initial feels, but the suggestions here make me want to try Hammer some more.

Edited by Venyarth, 07 November 2012 - 06:03 PM.


#24 Zhaitan

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Posted 06 November 2012 - 06:25 PM

*EDIT:  I was wondering what happens if you put a Sigil of Perception on the Staff instead of Sigil of Hydromancy when I made thjis post.

However, I have found out that Hydromancy has the best situational use that heavily outweighs the precision boost from Perception.

Hence, I modded my post.

Edited by Zhaitan, 08 November 2012 - 05:10 PM.


#25 Raynott

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Posted 06 November 2012 - 06:32 PM

Hey,

could you please post your spec - especially the traits you chose - as detailed as you postet your gear?
gw2skills.net doesn't seemt to work for me anymore since a few days without any apparent reason, it jusn't doesn't finish loading.

Thanks in advance and thanks for your efforts!

#26 Zorian51

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Posted 06 November 2012 - 06:58 PM

View PostVenyarth, on 05 November 2012 - 09:01 PM, said:

Snip..

Thanks for the post I may actually end up using Signet of Judgement more then. I guess I was worried I would need the extra regeneration. Two other questions for you if you dont mind.

I feel like having a hammer might be better because of the protection? Is it needed you think? I know you get buffs from Save Yourself and Renewed Focus but that only accounts for about 10-20 seconds in a 48-90 second period (cooldowns for both renewed focus/save yourselfs) Do you think you need other ways to get regeneration/protection in the mean time?

I know hammer has protection from the third swing. Aside from hold the line I'm not sure where else you would get regeneration.

My second question is have you considered using mango pies (Heal every second) instead of the flat HP increase? I imagine the heal over time would give you a lot more HP then the 1000 or so for food. I think they heal around 90-100 a second.

Thanks again

#27 ZCKS

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Posted 06 November 2012 - 08:15 PM

View PostVenyarth, on 05 November 2012 - 02:27 AM, said:

Snip

In response to your pondering about what to do.

I would suggest dropping 10 points off of honor and putting 5 of them in virtues, then 5 in radiance.

You have already said it yourself that inspired virtues is great, but renewed justice is just as great & increases not only your damage in multy mob fights but your entire groups damage as well.

After that I would suggest dropping rune of lyssa for rune of the soldier.

#28 VicMorrow

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 02:29 AM

@zcks go spam other thread. the build is around lyssa and u ask to switch to soldier. the point of discussion to find more viable build for guardian. what works for you doesn't mean will work for everybody.

#29 Venyarth

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 10:39 AM

View PostRaynott, on 06 November 2012 - 06:32 PM, said:

Hey,

could you please post your spec - especially the traits you chose - as detailed as you postet your gear?
gw2skills.net doesn't seemt to work for me anymore since a few days without any apparent reason, it jusn't doesn't finish loading.

Thanks in advance and thanks for your efforts!

**TRAIT AND UTILITY LIST FOR "GUARDIAN OF LYSSA" BUILD**

Traits:
Radiance 10
  • Stat boost: 100 Precision, 100 Condition Damage.
  • Minor Adept: Justice is Blind - When activating Virtue of Justice, nearby foes are blinded
  • Major Adept: (II) Signet Mastery - SIgnets recharge 20% faster
Valor 30
  • Stat boost: 300 Tougness, 30% Critical Damage
  • Minor Adept: Valorous Defense - Gain Aegis when health reaches 50%
  • Major Adept: (VI) Retributive Armor - 5% of Toughness is given as a bonus to precision
  • Minor Master: Courageous Return - Virtue of Courage is recharged when you rally
  • Major Master: (V) Purity - Lose a condition every 10 seconds
  • Minor Grandmaster: Might of the Protector - Gain might when you block attacks
  • Major Grandmaster: (XI) Altruistic Healing - Applying a boon to allies heals you. (Note, applying boon to yourself heals you too. Heal is 72 for each boon given)
Honor 30
  • Stat Boost: 300 Vitality (3,000 Health), 300 Healing
  • Minor Adept: Vigorous Precision - Gain 1s of vigor when you critical hit (Note, this will apply a self-heal of 72 via Altruistic Healing)
  • Major Adept: (II) Superior Aria - Shouts recharge 20% faster
  • Minor Master: Selfless Daring - The end of your dodge roll heals nearby allies
  • Major Master: (VIII) Empowering Might - nearby allies gain might for 5s when you critical hit (Note, this will apply a self-heal of 72 via Altruistic Healing for every ally, including yourself, that gains the boon)
  • Minor Grandmaster: Elusive Power - deal more damage at low endurance
  • Major Grandmaster: (IX) Two Handed Mastery - 2H weapon skills recharge 20% faster
Weapon 1: Greatsword. Has: 1xCombo Field:Light, 1xCombo Finisher:Leap,  2xCombo Finisher:Whirl.
Weapon 2: Staff

Utilities:
  • 6 - Signet of Resolve. Passive: Cures a condition every 10s. Active: Heals yourself (8,150)
  • 7 - Signet of Judgment. Passive: Reduces incoming damage (10%). Active: Grant retaliation (3s) to nearby allies, and weakness (5s) to nearby foes. (With this build, will grant 1x self-heal of 72 for each ally buffed, including yourself)
  • 8 - "Stand Your Ground!" Active: Grant stability (5s) and retaliation to allies (5s).  Breaks stun. (With this build, will grant 2x self-heals of 72 for each ally buffed, including yourself)
  • 9 - "Save Yourselves!" Active: Move all conditions from allies to you. Gain fury, vigor, might, protection, regeneration, swiftness, retaliation for 10s (5s in PvP). Breaks stun. (with this build, will also grant 7x self-heals at 72 each)
  • 10 - Renewed Focus - Active: Make yourself invulnerable for 3s, reset all virtues at end of 3s. (Note: with 6x Superior Rune of Lyssa - also removes all conditions and grants all boons, fury, vigor, might, protection, regeneration, swiftness, retaliation, stability, aegis for 5s. With this build, also grants 9x self-heals at 72 each)

Edited by Venyarth, 08 November 2012 - 03:57 PM.


#30 ZCKS

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 10:46 AM

View PostVicMorrow, on 07 November 2012 - 02:29 AM, said:

@zcks go spam other thread. the build is around lyssa and u ask to switch to soldier. the point of discussion to find more viable build for guardian. what works for you doesn't mean will work for everybody.


Just providing other choices & advice for him. He can take it or leave it as it is His Choice.

There is no reason to get nasty about it.


One thing I will note however is that he should consider using pure of voice if he is going to be going 30 points into honor and using a shout build.
It can be a game changer & completely screw over condition focused specs.


Whatever you choose to do Venyarth I hope your happy with it & have fun.




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